Posts Tagged ‘Bret Hart’

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Source: Sports Illustrated

Bret Hart spoke with Sports Illustrated’s “Extra Mustard” on a number of wrestling topics. Here are some of the highlights:

The 1992 SummerSlam match against the British Bulldog:

“I’ll always be partial to Wembley. It’s one of my greatest matches, and it was special to have an outdoor show at Wembley. Everyone was scared it was going to rain and ruin the show, and it was supposed to rain, but everyone crossed their fingers and it never rained. There were 82,000 people and something that made the match so special was that nobody knew who was going to win. I was able to do that with Bulldog at Wembley; right to the very last pin, no one knew who was going to win. It’s hard to explain, but it’s a beautiful thing to watch in wrestling when someone loses in the exact perfect way. That’s why the pin was so dramatic. There was no escape, there was no shame, but I made a mistake and Davey capitalized. It was a beautiful story, and I believe that was the match that launched me into a world champion.”

Playing the hero to fans:

“I’ve always taken a lot of pride that people believed in me as a hero. I tried not to fail them in my life. I tried to live a good life, I have three grandchildren now, and I’m very content right now. I’m still mending in a lot of ways from the latest tragedy in my family, losing my brother. I’m living every day that it could be my last, and I’m grateful for every day. Another good thing I have in my life are fans all across the world. I appreciate every one of them, and I will always do the best I can to show the respect for them that they’ve shown for me.”

You can read the full interview by clicking here.

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Source: Sports Illustrated

Harley Race spoke with Sports Illustrated’s “Extra Mustard” section on his health and pro wrestling. Here are some of the highlights:

How he’s feeling after falling in his home and breaking both of his legs back in June:

“Right now, it’s the legs that are bothering me. I’m sitting here now with two legs that aren’t very good. They’re in route to recovery, and I’m right along with them. In a little amount of time, I’ll be up walking again.”

Inspiring generations of wrestlers like Ric Flair, Bret Hart, Steve Austin, and CM Punk:

“I love that. And it’s all true. I was the guy who would go out and do whatever he needed to do, no matter what.”

Being the “world’s champion”:

“Being world’s champion is what I set out in life to do. I’m one of the few people on earth that can say they completed, in every aspect, what they wanted to do with their life. …Whether it was sitting in a steak house eating a steak or getting onto the edge of the ring with two or three people standing there, it was all the same to me.”

You can read the full interview by clicking here.

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Source: E&C Pod Of Awesomeness

Recently on E&C’s Pod Of Awesomeness, pro wrestling legends Edge and Christian chatted with current WWE Superstar Natalya. Among other things, Natalya talked about helping Charlotte Flair reach her potential in the squared circle, Chris Benoit helping her get her start in WWE, what she regrets from her pro wrestling career, and who her favorite opponents are.

According to Natalya, she is proud that she was able to help Charlotte improve in the ring the way TJ Wilson, also known as Tyson Kidd, helped her get better.

“I always wanted to be good for other people, so we could keep paying it forward. And the way TJ helped me, I’m proud to say, like, I helped Charlotte Flair that way, because when we had our match, we had a very famous match in NXT and we’ll talk about that another time, like, that match helped her so much to believe in herself. And she understood what it’s like, and now I’m going to put myself over, she understood what it was like to drive a nice car.” Natalya added, “she got a chance to work with somebody that was better and that way, she could learn and grow. That’s how I got better, by working with people who were better than me.”

On the subject of Charlotte, Natalya named ‘The Nature Girl’ as one of her favorite opponents. Natalya divulged that Charlotte really doubted herself when she arrived in NXT and that the two have developed an unspoken connection.

“One of my favorite, favorite, favorite opponents is Charlotte Flair. It’s just a magical chemistry that we have with each other. When I first met Charlotte Flair, one of the things I loved about her was how vulnerable she was. We had a very emotional conversation and she told me how she still didn’t believe in herself.” Natalya continued, “I love working with Charlotte. I know I can go in the ring and get the job done. She can go in there. She hits hard. I hit hard. It’s very, very, very physical to a point where I feel like we’re almost in a relationship and I mean that in the best way, a.k.a., the German suplex. But I love working with Charlotte. We just have this unspoken [bond]. We don’t have to talk. It’s just this connection that we have.”

Also, Natalya said she loved working with Nikki Bella, though she was scared of reinjuring John Cena’s future bride.

“Someone else that people would be surprised that I loved, loved, loved working with was Nikki Bella. She was determined to prove herself after her injury and you guys both know what it’s like to go through serious injuries, and especially anything to do with your spine. And Nikki had come back from this spinal fusion and it was really serious injury.” Natalya recalled, “I helped Nikki kind of with her in-ring return, but I was nervous because I was like, ‘TJ, I don’t want to be the one that hurts Nikki and have John Laurinaitis, Brie Bella, Daniel Bryan, and John Cena staring me down.’ Like with Nikki, you get the whole package. You get all of them.”

Natalya shared that she regrets not having an angle with close friend and WWE Hall Of Famer Beth Phoenix.

“One of my biggest regrets is that I didn’t have a feud with Beth. We walked into SmackDown one day and they were like, ‘oh, you and Beth are wrestling.’ I went for years, and years, and years not having a rivalry with Beth. We were either always both bad guys, or both good guys, or teammates. And so, that was a regret that I had.”

Interestingly, Natalya claimed that Chris Benoit helped her and Kidd get hired by WWE at a time when Natalya’s uncle, the legendary Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart, was not on speaking terms with WWE following the Montreal Screwjob.

“I don’t know if you want to include this or not, I was lucky enough that there were people in the industry at this time, when I got hired, Bret still wasn’t talking to WWE. They weren’t on good terms or they just weren’t talking at all. And everybody knows the history between Bret and WWE, and the Montreal Screwjob, so it was a tricky time for the Harts to get hired, so Chris Benoit was a good family friend and our family helped him break into the industry. So Chris Benoit actually is one of the people that helped me get hired and he really pulled for myself and TJ and he put pressure on Johnny [Ace] and said, ‘I want to help these two people get hired.’ So I really feel like it was Chris helped us get hired.”

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A WWE fan has started a petition to have a wax figure of Bret “The Hitman” Hart added to the famous Madame Tussauds Hollywood wax museum.

In the petition, which was posted on Change.org, Angie Garcia argues that the WWE Hall of Famer is most deserving of representing wrestling in the wax museum. The petition has received 244 signatures of the required 500 to date.

Here’s an excerpt:

When wrestling fans think of wrestling, one name comes to mind: Hulk Hogan, in which I respect. When I think of wrestling, I think of one name myself: Bret “Hit Man” Hart. I believe Bret Hart is the perfect person to represent wrestling at Madame Tussauds Hollywood Wax Museum by creating a Wax Figure of him if possible. He’s a retired professional wrestler that is known as the Excellence of Execution. He was one of the safest wrestlers to ever step foot inside a wrestling ring. He protected himself, his opponents and his craft while in a match. He was a 7 time world champion. Today, he’s still known as the Best there is, the Best there was and the Best there ever will be.

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Source: The Steve Austin Show

Recently on The Steve Austin Show, WWE Hall Of Famer Steve Austin shared his thoughts on WWE Superstar Seth Rollins’ connection to the audience, his character, and compared Rollins to WWE Hall Of Famer Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart.

According to Austin, Rollins is only “somewhat over” with the WWE Universe. Moreover, Rollins needs the crowd to be more invested in him for a long match like ‘The Architect”s WrestleMania 33 match versus Triple H to work.

“Rollins is somewhat over, not all-the-way over, not by a long shot. Now, I don’t mean that in a bad way. That’s just being honest.” Austin explained, “he [has] relied on his sequences and his athleticism to carry him. To take him to the next level, he’ll have to get more character development.”

Austin admitted that he still does not have a sense of the Seth Rollins character.

“When you say ‘Seth Rollins’ or if you want to say ‘Seth Freakin’ Rollins’, I still don’t have a sense of what or who this guy is. And so, that rests on Seth Rollins’ shoulders, as an individual, as a performer, to define or create that as well as the WWE because I still don’t get a sense of what kind of personality he is.”

Austin went on to compare ‘The Kingslayer’ to another top notch in-ring performer who was an introvert by nature, the legendary Bret Hart.

“Bret wasn’t an over-the-top guy. He was a pretty humble and a very quiet individual outside the ring, so in many regards kind of somewhat like Seth although Bret’s an entirely different animal, but there’s a case of a guy who’s not a showy kind of guy, but very conservative, but just a highly defined gimmick, a badass gimmick, and a world class worker, so Seth needs to work on this.”

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Source: Talk Is Jericho

Recently on Talk Is Jericho, professional wrestling great Chris Jericho spoke with WWE Hall Of Famer and WWE Monday Night RAW General Manager Kurt Angle. Among other things, Angle discussed some of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time, Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, and Shawn Michaels. Among other things, Angle shared his thoughts on Benoit’s matches going unseen, getting into a shoot fight with Guerrero, and his favorite WrestleMania bout.

According to Angle, he would actually have to raise his intensity level to compete with Benoit and said wrestling ‘The Rabid Wolverine’ was like looking at a mirror. The man who ‘Y2J’ used to call Kirk Angel claimed that he learned a lot from his Royal Rumble match with Benoit and that it is a shame that their matches will never been seen again.

“He was, he was. I never had anyone match my intensity the way he did. He was always there, blow for blow, it was just like a mirror. I was wrestling me. Actually, I picked up my intensity when I was working with Chris. But it does kind of suck that a lot of those matches are kind of forgotten, especially Royal Rumble (2003).” Angle continued, “it just had everything. It had submission trade-offs and this was, I mean, I would see Dean Malenko and [Jericho] do it, trade-off, here and there, in WCW, but this was really the first time and the whole match was based on it.”

Angle included Benoit on his personal list of top three professional wrestlers of all time, saying Benoit “could do it all” and that “he was incredible.”

“I’m sorry, but he has got to be in the top three of all time. I mean, you can’t deny that. I mean, even Bret Hart will tell you that.” Angle added, “I’m not going to excuse any of the things Chris did outside of wrestling, but when he was in that ring, he was possibly the greatest of all time.”

With respect to Guerrero, Angle said ‘Latino Heat’ may have been the best pro wrestler when he was healthy and that he was in his prime in WCW before being in a car accident.

“When Eddie was healthy, he could have been #1. I think Eddie was in his prime in WCW and the reason I say that is because he got in a car accident. That car accident did two things for him. It really inhibited what he could do after that. In other words, he had limits. He could still do a lot, but not like he used to. I used to watch him in WCW and be like, ‘wow, this kid’s incredible.’ But he almost couldn’t walk again after that accident, so yeah, yeah. Eddie was banged up when I wrestled him.” Angle recalled, “as good as he was in 2004, 2005, he had to be 10-times better back then. That’s mind-blowing. I mean, he could have been the absolute greatest of all time because when I wrestled him, he was still in that top three we were talking about, so Eddie had it all. He was so entertaining, but he also had all the technique. He was such a great wrestler and he got it. He got finishes. He knew how to structure them.”

Angle described an altercation he had backstage with Guerrero. Guerrero attempted a double-leg takedown on Angle, and ‘The Olympic Hero’ proceeded to choke out Guerrero.

“We had to jump Eddie out in the ring and I didn’t touch him, but we had these two big goon guys, Mark Jindrak and Luther Reigns! Horshu. They’re beating the hell out of Eddie, so we get heat on him at the end of the show. I’m in the back. I’m waiting for Eddie because I wanted to thank him, but I didn’t touch him. He comes straight up to me and blames me for it.” Angle said, “so this is like the fifth time he confronted me about it in about a month, so I shoved him. I just wanted to see what he would do. And he didn’t do anything, so I shoved him again and he double-legs me. I mean, you could’ve sucker punched me, but he double-legs me. And I’m like, ‘he did not just try to double-leg an Olympic gold medalist, so I laid the hips into him and then I started choking him out nice and slow.”

Angle said Guerrero was not ready to accept Angle’s apology right away and that the two were like brothers.

“Now, Eddie and I got in a fight and I wanted to make amends with him and you know Eddie has a temper, so five minutes after that fight, I walk in, I said, ‘I’m sorry, Eddie.’ I say, ‘I’m sorry about what happened.’ He goes, ‘I’m not ready yet.’ Oh, God! So I go, ‘you what?’ He goes, ‘I’m not ready to be sorry,’ so I push him again! I want to fight this poor kid. He doesn’t want to double-leg me again, so he’s just standing there and JBL got in between us. So I tried to call him that night and he wasn’t ready again, but the next week, he came to me and apologized and we both made up. And Eddie and I were brothers. My brother Eric and I, we fought all the time, so I didn’t mind. I mean, I knew Eddie was very much like my brother, Eric, had a temper, and was going to let it fly ever once in a while and we would get over it and we did. Eddie got mad at me a million times, but knowing he was exactly like my brother, Eric, okay, we can forgive each other the next day and move on. But the whole, ‘I’m not ready yet,’ I wanted to kick his butt.”

Angle shared that his WrestleMania 21 match with Michaels was his favorite WrestleMania match he had been in.

“I always wanted to wrestle him after I saw the match [Jericho] and Shawn Michaels had at WrestleMania. Like, I literally, I was pissed off because I didn’t watch [Jericho’s] match against Shawn at WrestleMania 19 and I was like, ‘me and Brock stole the show’ and then, the next day I’m watching it, I’m like, ‘son of a b—h, those guys had a better match than us. Damn it!’ I was like, ‘son of a b—h!’ I said, ‘well, it was Jericho and Shawn.’ I was like, ‘I already wrestled Jericho. I got to wrestle Shawn’ and I did at WrestleMania 21.”

The man who professed to being ‘just a sexy Kurt’, stated that he and ‘Mr. WrestleMania’ did not touch before their match.

“Usually you wrestle guys several times to get to know each other and the thing is, Shawn didn’t want to do anything that week. He just wanted to sit down to get to know me. We went over one spot where I had to lift him up over my head. He had an armbar on me and I had to, yeah, sunset flip. Other than that, we didn’t do anything and it was like, ‘does he really think he’s that good?’ Well, yeah, he is that good. We talked about the comeback and finish, which we always do, but other than that, the thing is, I never locked up with him. Like, you don’t get a feel. You want to get a feel for him, maybe do a couple of spots. He didn’t want to do anything. So it was like I got to know his family really well, he got to know mine, but Pat [Patterson] was there and he just let us B.S. and we did come up with some good false finishes like everybody does at WrestleMania. I just didn’t think I’d have that type of chemistry with someone that quickly.”

Angle had high praise for Michaels, calling ‘The Heartbreak Kid’ the best pro wrestler he has ever worked, though he wished he had the opportunity to wrestle WWE Hall Of Famer Ric Flair and Bret Hart in their primes.

“When you talk about that top three, yeah, it’s close. [Michaels is number one] for me too, me too. Well, I’m not going to lie to you, I wish I would have wrestled Ric Flair in his prime and Bret Hart in his prime. I did, so I have to say Shawn Michaels is the best.”

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Natalya was the special guest on a brand new episode of Lilian Garcia: Making Their Way to the Ring. On the show Natalya revealed how she had once had an eating disorder and how wrestling helped to cure her, how Total Divas has taught her how to be vulnerable and more. You can watch the full episode in the video above or download the podcast version on iTunes. They sent us these highlights:

Having an eating disorder in the past:

“It’s funny because Alexa Bliss talked about having an eating disorder and stuff and I actually-this is the first time I’ve ever talked about this: Nattie exclusive, but I had an eating disorder when I was eighteen and um, it lasted for about, I mean they say it never really goes away, but um it spanned the course of about three years and I went from a hundred and sixty pounds, in the course of two months after my uncle Owen died-the summer that my uncle died, I lost forty pounds in two months. And my family was really scared and I remember being very angry at them and thinking like ‘Why are they confronting me? They should be happy, I look great’. I didn’t realize it until years later how crazy and scary I looked losing that much weight. I was wearing kids clothes and it was a really hard time for me, but I was reeling from the tragedy of my uncle passing away and how that affected my family and also I think because my Dad wasn’t a part of my life because he was working, and busy, and gone.” she went on to explain her reasons saying “I don’t know if this is the right way of putting this, but my eating disorder was a lot about control. I couldn’t control anything else that was going on in my life, but I could control what I ate.”

How wrestling helped her recover:

“It’s a little bit liberating and I actually talked to Alexa Bliss about it when she came forward and said she had gone through this I said ‘I just give you so much credit because it takes a lot of courage to talk about it’. You know, since that happened I just never ever shared that publicly with anyone. It was just something I just didn’t want to have to relive but then I also thought you know, again now that Alexa has talked about her situation it made me really respect her more. Because it like, no we can actually raise awareness and help teach young girls that going through something like this is very common-it’s actually becoming a lot more common with body image. It’s something lots of people go through, whether it’s bulimia, or anorexia, or binge-eating disorder.” Specifically, she went on to say “Me getting into wrestling helped cure that eating disorder and I never looked back. Once I fell in love with wrestling I just realized-especially with the help of TJ because TJ was my very first trainer, I wanted to do that and I wasn’t going to let food hold me back and so slowly I started to kind of reintroduce myself to food and I did put on some weight because once you go from starving yourself to eating you do gain weight. I’d gotten a little heavier, but I was happier and I was happier because I was pursuing a passion which was wrestling.”

Natalya learning how to be vulnerable through Total Divas:

“There was a time, especially in WWE where I felt like it was never going to be my time and before I got picked to do Total Divas I was actually going back to school on the side doing online classes. I was thinking about getting into law and it really interested me. Then you know I had gone to Rwanda and did this four day retreat with the United Nations Foundation, we visited two refugee camps, over thirty thousand refugees and it was this life-changing trip.” she continued, “So I got home and that week Triple H pulls me aside and says, ‘Nattie, we picked you to be a part of Total Divas and it’s this new show that we’re doing and it’s gonna document you and a few other girls and your lives and in and out of the ring and it’s very special, blah, blah, blah, blah’. I was so blown away by Triple H asking me to be a part of it and I was just like ‘Wow this is just incredible. I’m just getting this new opportunity and it was the greatest opportunity for me that I could have at that moment and I’ve been on the show since the very beginning. For four years, six full seasons, and it’s been the opportunity of a lifetime. I’ve loved it, but it’s also taught me which is what I was saying before, what it is to be vulnerable. That what people really connect with is you laughing, crying, showing people that you’re not perfect, opening up and saying ‘You know what I’m human and I make mistakes. We fall down and we get back up'”, Natalya goes on to reveal, “I really opened myself up to being vulnerable on that show and I felt like when I went up to induct Beth at the Hall of Fame this past week, I was like, I felt like all that Total Divas vulnerability helped me on that stage where I could just be like totally vulnerable and I even at one point choked up and started crying onstage when I was talking about my uncle Owen and people just said that I had them in, people just said ‘You and Beth had me in tears’. I feel like people want to be let in you know, but not everyone will let you in, not everyone knows how to do that, but I feel like I learned that that’s okay.”

Her uncle Bret Hart going through cancer:

“He’s completely healed from cancer, but you know cancer, I’ll forever, forever be indebted and grateful to Bret for coming to be by my side at that pay per view after WrestleMania, um dealing with just having beaten cancer. He had just had surgery like a couple months prior, not even like two months like six weeks and he didn’t feel good at all.” she continued, “He was by my side for that match and he didn’t feel good because he was still recovering but he was there for me and I will always remember that and I think really last year he’s just been getting his sea legs back because it was a lot what he endured and it was very scary for him. And I can tell he was really scared by everything, mentally, physically, it scared him so much. You know cancer really doesn’t run in our family. Our family doesn’t really that much of a history with it and so Bret really wanted to use his situation with cancer as a platform to help others that are going through the same thing and so what’s funny is that once Bret announced that he had cancer there was a surge and they did a story on it actually in the paper and on the news. There was a surge, thousands of men across the province of Alberta, where Bret lives, went to get checked for prostate cancer. And they did a special on it on the news saying it was Bret Hart that helped raise so much awareness by coming forward about his cancer.”

Being a part of the Hart family:

“I think as I’ve grown older I realized just how special my family is. When you’re young you kind of take it for granted and you don’t realize when your uncles are Bret ‘the Hitman’ Hart and Owen Hart, the British Bulldog, my Dad’s on TV, and my grandfather’s you know, now a WWE Hall of Famer, Stu Hart. When I was around them when I was a little kid, they were just my uncles. They were just you know, just my dad, it’s just my grandpa. And then as I’ve grown older I’ve realized that my family is extremely special and really iconic in this wild wonderful world of WWE. Now I realize just how special they are and I’m very very proud of them. But I also admire the fact that we’ve been able to go through hell and come out alive.”